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Tips for Hiring a PA

You are ready to hire a surgical PA - “the best instrument a surgeon has.” Now, how best to get the talent you need? Consider these tips.

Know How You Will Use a PA

Learn as much as possible about the surgical PA profession and their roles and responsibilities on the surgical team. Decide on where you want the PA to participate in your practice:

  • Office/clinic
  • Pre-admission
  • Pre-Op
  • Intra-Op
  • Post-Op/PACU
  • Home visits
  • Critical Care/SICU

Surgical PAs receive training in these areas as a component of their didactic and clinical training.

Create a Job Description

Construct a job description to reflect the PA’s utilization in your practice or hospital. A good place to start is by reviewing the duties and responsibilities listed in The Surgical PA section of this website.

Set Salary and Benefits

According to the 2008 AAPA Physician Assistant Census Report, the median total annual income from the primary employer for respondents who work at least 32 hours per week for their primary employer and who are not self-employed is $85,710; the mean is $89,897.

Place your Job Ad

AASPA offers several venues to maximize visibility of your job listing, including the publication Sutureline, the AASPA Careers section and our Annual CME meeting.

Contact Accredited PA Programs

Contact an accredited PA educational program to locate new graduates and residents. There are more than 130 accredited programs in the United States. Three PA educational programs focus on surgical education.

After attending a PA Program, PA graduates have the option to continue their education at a PA residency program.

Look for Credentials

When assessing candidates applications, look for the following:

  • Graduation from an accredited PA Program
  • Certified by the National Commission for the Certification of PAs
  • State registration/license
  • Successful completion of the Surgical Recognition Exam, administered by the National Commission for the certification of PAs (preferred)
  • Fellow membership in the American Association of Surgical PA’s (preferred)

More on Hiring a PA

For more on information about hiring a PA, visit the Employer Resources section of

AASPA Information

More Information

  • Call our National Office at 772-388-0498
  • Email us